by Donna Dickson
Shampoo, deodorant, kitty litter…
Stepping on to the escalator, my list ticks over in my mind as I meander maniacally through the mall.
Pick up hubby’s suit and your little black dress from drycleaners – check.
Purchase DVD’s and sweet treats to bribe children into silence – check.
Acquire food, wine and assorted other delicacies for tonight’s dinner party – check.
Exchange body and soul for life of servitude – check.
Glimpse, for last time, your lingering sense of self as it dissipates into the ether of wife, mother, taxi driver, hostess, lover, cook, cleaner, and all ‘round unpaid maid – check.
Evoke last time anyone remembered YOUR birthday, YOUR favourite meal, YOUR love of art galleries and antique shops – unable to recall – CHECK!!!!
Remember last time anyone stopped to look at you, SEE you, see inside you, your heart, your longing – doesn’t spring to mind – check.
More escalators, more stores, more errands. Never- bloody- ending series of chores, duties and responsibilities – CHECK!
Stop crying over the deep and abiding sense of loss, of grief – check.
Fight the pull, all day, every goddamn day, that wants to drag you out of your life, walk away, leave all of this behind, and return you to…well, to yourself, to the sweet taste of freedom – check.
Examine your ability to convince yourself that this is the life that you want, the life that you need, the life that fulfils you – check?
Step off escalator.
Get up tomorrow and the next day, and do it all over again.